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Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

Re: SNCF RER trains, has anyone ever been kicked off?

28 July 2014 - 10:22am
There is extensive information about French rail services on www.bonjourlafrance.com including tgv and ter.
You can find timetables between stations by entering start and destination and it gives a bike symbol where appropriate.
I used this site to research travel with my bike between Calais and Hendaye and returning from Perpignan to Calais.
The information may not be 100% -for instance the site suggested I could travel directly from Calais to Paris Austerlitz whereas I had to go to Paris Nord and ride to Austerlitz. Apart from that the timetable was o.k - I still had to use SNCF/Rail-Europe for the booking but it was useful to have the information when I made the booking.
It occurs to me that you could train your children to burst into tears as appropriate

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

28 July 2014 - 10:19am
serbring wrote:I was thinking to connect the two rear panniers with cable ties and wrap them together at the airport. Is it a good idea?

I considered doing that but felt the result was likely to be damaged as it went through the baggage handling system. You could tape up loose straps I suppose but it would be better to wrap it in something, thick polythene or a Bergan liner in my case.

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

28 July 2014 - 9:45am
simonhill wrote:It obviously depends on airline baggage rules, ie how many pieces, but I reckon that it is best to keep the bike 'package' as light as possible. The more bags you attach or pack in box, the heavier it gets and the harder it is for the baggage handlers to manhandle it carefully.

I usually fly Emirates which is as many pieces within 30kgs. So it is bike in box and panniers as check in.

With Virgin. It was bike plus one piece, so I bundled panniers in a bit of tough polythene.

With AirAsia I pay for bike and pay for baggage (ie panniers).

Sometimes it seems to me that people are desperate to save a few pounds, but putting their bikes at risk of damage by cramming everything into the box. You pays your money (or not) and takes your choice.

There are no prescription on Norwegians airlines about the bike package, only the maximum allowed weight (25kg).
I was thinking to connect the two rear panniers with cable ties and wrap them together at the airport. Is it a good idea?

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

28 July 2014 - 8:15am
It obviously depends on airline baggage rules, ie how many pieces, but I reckon that it is best to keep the bike 'package' as light as possible. The more bags you attach or pack in box, the heavier it gets and the harder it is for the baggage handlers to manhandle it carefully.

I usually fly Emirates which is as many pieces within 30kgs. So it is bike in box and panniers as check in.

With Virgin. It was bike plus one piece, so I bundled panniers in a bit of tough polythene.

With AirAsia I pay for bike and pay for baggage (ie panniers).

Sometimes it seems to me that people are desperate to save a few pounds, but putting their bikes at risk of damage by cramming everything into the box. You pays your money (or not) and takes your choice.

Re: Looking for inspiration/ideas for a tour in Germany.

27 July 2014 - 8:49pm
slowpeddler wrote:I'm off tomorrow to cycle camp the new route, the Roman-Lippe route from Detmold to Xanten. It only opened in 2013 and looks a cracker.



That should be quite er level! Xanten AP is well worth a visit and the modern town has some nice bar/restaurants. Useful railhead to get you back to civilisation and you aren't too far from Rose Bikeworld in Bocholt - well worth a squint if you have time.

Re: Norway from the South to Trondheim

27 July 2014 - 6:50pm
I was recently given a fairly detailed route for Trondheim to Kristiansand, it avoids the E6 completely and sticks mainly to smaller roads. This shows the route most of the way to Oslo and the details can be found here although they run from Trondheim south.

http://andrewwaterfield.blogspot.co.uk/ ... dvice.html

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/63.3437 ... 0?hl=en-GB

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

27 July 2014 - 6:25pm
serbring wrote:BeeKeeper wrote:This was my bike earlier this year before sliding it into the CTC bag. The blue stuff was a stiff foam which was used to protect the edges of a worktop which we had had delivered. I guess you might be able to blag some off a builders merchant or buy the foam insulation you get for wrapping round pipes. It is not essential, stiff cardboard does equally as good a job of protecting the vulnerable bits. The only bits I removed apart from one pedal (the other was reversed, see picture) were the bottle racks which fit on the front forks. These were stowed in the frame bag. My panniers travelled in an 80 litre Bergan liner with a webbing luggage strap around them. The Bergan liner is very light and folds up small for stowing in the bottom of a pannier. It is useful as the airline charged per item of luggage so the two panniers in a bag only counted as one. My bar bag was my carry on luggage. Note tyres were deflated as per the airline's rules although no one checked them at Bristol when I checked it in.

I only needed the CTC bag for a one way flight as we came back by ferry but if you need a bag for the return journey I would recommend buying a second one and leave it unopened. It will take up a lot less room on your bike than if you try and fold up the bag used on the outward journey.

Was it robust enought that protection of the light? I'm afraid that the bracket might bend.

It was OK, but to be honest I don't worry about something like that getting bent. The main thing was to protect the brake discs, brake levers, etc. The main thing is the bike is able to be ridden when it comes off the 'plane.

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

27 July 2014 - 6:02pm
Serbring, we use frame bags, handlebar harnesses, seat pack harnesses and fuel tank bag and carry only hand luggage for trips up to 1 week long. Longer than that and we check in one bag.

We pack the heavy stuff like tools and liquids into the frame bag and fuel tank (still attached to the bike), everything else we carry. Wide necked drinks bottles can be filled with toiletries or other small items in a ziplock bag.

Re: Getting home (Plymouth) from Genoa or the Alps (Geneva)

27 July 2014 - 5:01pm
Great info/ideas, thanks. loved hills ever since NZ. Became content to go slow and enjoy the surroundings. Like the dozen passes idea (with bailout options). Could drive some of them with the lads and cycle others.

Ferry home is flexible. As you say -- possibilities endless -- sometimes you need a goal or someone to visit to give a tour a bit more structure.

Train options for the Loire

27 July 2014 - 4:57pm
I am considering a late summer / early autumn Loire tour and, if possible (easy) would like to take the bikes to and from the area by train from my home in Surrey. I can get to Calais, Newhaven and Porstmouth from home easily but given the Loire's location, Portsmouth seems the natural crossing point - my preference being to Ouistreham to catch the train from nearby Caen.

Does anybody have any experience / advice of such a route, obviously the less changes the better? An initial look suggests a non stop train to Tours might be a possibility. Can you take bikes on these trains / what are the arrangements? Any other thoughts most welcome.

Re: Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

27 July 2014 - 4:15pm
I've done large parts of during a Vancouver to Boston tour. How long? Divide 4200 miles by your daily mileage. Over the length of a USA coast to coast I've averaged around 55 miles per day including rest days. 60mpd for the riding days. Some are faster others slower. So if I was doing the transam I'd allow 76 days plus and extra 3 days or so as a margin for error and sourcing bike packing stuff at the end. Call it 80 days.

It's worth remembering that 90 days is the limit for the USA under the visa waiver scheme. Any longer and you need to apply for a visa and go to the embassy in London for interview.

A west to east tour is best done later. Some of the passes are not clear until June.

In 2014, this means the Highway will open to motor vehicles no earlier than Monday, June 16. Prior to then, cyclists and pedestrians may use the Highway following normal rules of the road, and at their own risk.

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION4/ ... oject.aspx

So starting any time from early June to mid July. I started in Vancouver in July 1st and finished in Boston on 19th Sept. Good weather all the way across. The days were noticeably shorter by then. Only a couple of wet days and a few thunderstorms here and there. A couple o frosty morning in the mountains.

Re: Getting home (Plymouth) from Genoa or the Alps (Geneva)

27 July 2014 - 3:34pm
Depends where you want to jump ship. If you like hills, you could try the Route des Grandes Alpes, which goes from the Med up to Lake Geneva, taking in a dozen or so passes. You could bale out of it at the Lautaret, and head down to Grenoble (where there’s a TGV to Paris that takes bikes). You could head down from there to Lyon, then somewhere around Macon cross over to go down the Loire valley, turn right somewhere around Orleans and head up to the Channel. Ferry home from le Havre, or Ouistreham, or Dieppe? The possibilities are endless…

Re: SNCF RER trains, has anyone ever been kicked off?

27 July 2014 - 3:30pm
I hate to be a downer, and I could be wrong, but I did a quick search on http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/bretagne and all of the options either involved the combination of a bus (no bike carriage) and a TER train, or a TER and a TGV train. As James Gilbert says, you can't/don't need to reserve bike spaces on TER trains, but that doesn't get you over the problem of the buses.

Maybe if you got a taxi to Morlaix that would give you more TER options?

EDIT: I was just wondering: did you mean to ask whether you are likely to be thrown off the *TGV*? I suspect the answer is you might get away with it or you might not. I'm not sure it's worth the gamble.

ANTONISH wrote:Like you I used the Piccadilly office - I've booked direct with SNCF on the internet before but booking a bike space isn't possible - in fact now I find I'm redirected to Rail-Europe
( I suspect so that they can charge me pounds for euros )

You need to go to RailEurope to reserve bike spaces, (or you can ring their call centre which, unless you live in Mayfair, is going to be the easier option) but if you just want to research train times - and more importantly which trains take bikes - then you have to pretend to be Australian or an English-speaking European: see this page: http://italy-cycling-guide.info/travell ... y-train-2/ for an explanation and a how-to. I can understand why the SNCF would want to redirect British customers to Rail Europe but why can't British customers get the same information as is available elsewhere in English on the voyages-sncf.com site?

Re: Shipping the bike by plane

27 July 2014 - 3:30pm
How do you organize your baggage? For instance I have the rear panniers, the rack pack and the handlebar bag. I paid for the checked bag, only 1 piece. So do you keep any bag with your bike? Which one? I would leave the rear panniers on the rack but I'm worried it might be damaged.

Re: Cycle touring coincidences

27 July 2014 - 1:07pm
On our trip (60 days so far) we have had two interesting coincidences. Our first night of camping was in La Reole, next to the Garonne and after pitching the tent a group of 5 guys turned up and camped next door. Nothing strange there of course, but we then saw them at another 3 camp sites over the next 5 or 6 nights, despite us taking a rest day and detouring somewhat.

Then the last time we met them they said they had run out of time so needed to take a train and we said our goodbyes. Four days later we were riding in the outskirts of Montpellier, a bit lost after the path we intended to take was completely unridable, and who should we bump into but them?

On another occasion we met a guy at a camp site in Montelimar and then 12 days later our paths crossed once again in Mulhouse. He had taken a completely different route to us and we had ridden almost 750km since we last met. A good reason to stop and have a drink together!

Re: Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

27 July 2014 - 12:30pm
Also did Southern Tier W>E using ACA maps. Recommended if you can get them. Really substantial/can't go wrong guides.

I learned the importance of a bit of planning/help/tour material cycling San Francisco - San Diego. I was totally unprepared, thinking I'd just use Route 1, HW101 etc and bimble my way using common-sense or gas station map checks. Shocker! Quality moment being told to "get off the freeway" by HW patrol speeding past at 100mph (chasing a genuine criminal). The HW (can cycle) automatically turned into a Freeway (can't cycle) leaving me scratching my head.
In the end I got lucky via super hospitable US locals (this and nice big roads ["shoulders"} make US so good to cycle tour) to save the day. Chap in Monterrey (prof at local uni) saw me eating breakfast sat by a tree and got chatting. Next thing I know I'm having waffles with his wife and kids, whilst he's photocopying relevant pages of a "Bicycling the pacific coast". mile-by-mile (actually, tenth of a mile.) instructions taking in the best parts/scenery. Was fun to follow and can't imagine the different experience I would have had without it. Pointed me to all the "hiker-biker" campsites (~$5 a night for cyclists) etc.

As for gear - same goes. Again, I tried to fudge it going from Australian summer to autumn in NZ, with same sleeping bag/camp gear. Never forget being woken up when the cold came straight up through my thermarest one night. It wasn't good enough (R value) and made for a terrible uncomfortable night. You can always make do - from then I'd look for insulation (e.g. piles of dead leaves) or shelter I could sneak into, until I had time/a place to upgrade my gear. Makes for the experience, learning on the road, but I was in Western world, where mistakes can easily be rectified.

Getting home (Plymouth) from Genoa or the Alps (Geneva)

27 July 2014 - 12:05pm
I've been asked to road-trip with a couple of friends on 15 Aug. From the UK, we're using the channel tunnel to get to Europe and driving straight to Barcelona, before using the 10 days to go to Genoa (roughly) and then home via the alps.
My companions are fully fledged capitalists, with minimal holiday time and high pressure jobs. I thought this sounded crazy for a 10-day holiday? Road-trip or not, and them being "driven" individuals aside. I don't use cars for my everyday life, instead depending on a bicycle, which has been first choice all my life. So the prospect of this "holiday" is a making me anxious. Especially keeping up with their spending (I'm frugal/greenie).
I was going to off-set by taking my bike and break from them somewhere on the ride home. I have until end Sep before UK commitments, so wanted to use a couple/few more weeks to ride instead. Not sure if this will even be appreciated/considered by the other two (me jumping ship), but if they are planning to drive back via the alps (Geneva), can anyone recommend a general route for me? The road-trip route is open/flexible.

I grew up and live cycling in Devon/Cornwall; 100+ mile days are not a problem. As said, I'll have until end Sep (starting rough 25th Aug).

I've never cycled this region before - only a few Brittany tours. Rode Southern Tier of USA and 3000 miles of New Zealand in the past. I was planning to hostel/use cycle hospitality to make use of the carbon racer, instead of tourer with panniers.

Any suggestions/ideas welcome; Cheers

Dan

Re: Cycling to Nordkapp: searching for suggestions

27 July 2014 - 11:11am
Vorpal wrote:There's a new tunnels map on the Vegvesen (highway authority) site http://www.vegdata.no/2014/06/17/cyclin ... n-tunnels/ There is a link 'Link to this vegkart-query'. If you click on it, there is a nice map that shows tunnels and the status with regard to cyclists.

thanks. This works much better than the other

Re: Surviving Norway?

27 July 2014 - 11:10am
Vorpal wrote:Many grains will soak up water overnight, or during the day. Porridge oats can be soaked overnight, though I've never tried it. Pot noodles are partly cooked and dehydrated, rather than uncooked, so they are okay just soaked for a long time. It's common for university students to do this

Bread + stuff to eat in it will generally be better & cheaper in Norway, though.

thanks.

Re: Anker Cache Battery Broken USB Connector

27 July 2014 - 7:17am
RickH wrote:A pre-emptive measure for others might be a USB cable with a right angle mini/micro connector (such as this ... So there isn't so much cable sticking out to lever on the connector.

Just found these. I wonder if one of this was secured to the side it would do the trick?



Andrew

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